Wendell Clifford Neeley


Wendell Clifford Neeley, 83, a lifelong resident of Bradley County, passed away on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, surrounded by his loving wife of 60 years, Jimmie Gill Neeley, and family.

He was born in Charleston on July 20, 1939. Wendell was a 1958 graduate of Bradley High School, where he served as captain of the football team. He was a gifted athlete and carried his love for sports later into his life as he was a part of various softball teams. He also enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren in their sports and numerous activities.

Wendell was an employee of Bowater for 41 years, and he also co-owned the Plaza Flower Basket & Gifts with his wife, Jimmie. He was “the master behind Jimmie’s mind,” making all her ideas come to life. Wendell was an active member of Westwood Baptist Church and of the Cleveland Emmaus Community. He faithfully served the Lord in many ways and especially loved attending mission trips to Honduras where he helped cook for the teams.

Everyone who knew Wendell always knew him as the life of the party. He was always making friends and family laugh with his jokes and wonderful sense of humor. He also enjoyed playing Rook, hunting, writing poetry and spending time with his family. Wendell was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his father, Doyle Monroe Neeley; mother and stepfather, Edna Pauline Mantooth and Ted Mantooth; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Joan (Tommy “Suds”) Barrett.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory, his beloved wife, Jimmie Gill Neeley; children, Wendy Neeley Benton (Brad), Amy Neeley Owenby (John) and Wendell Clifford “Cliff” Neeley II (Kristine) of Franklin; sister, Doyline Neeley; brother, Wayne Neeley (Janet); grandchildren, Neeley Cain (Jonathan) of Summerville, South Carolina, Luke Benton of Austin, Texas, Parker Benton, Anna Grace Owenby, Addi Beth Owenby, Zach Owenby (Jessica), Virginia Neeley, Emmett Neeley and Hayden Neeley; sister-in-law, Pat Parton (Bruce); and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

Wendell’s family will receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, at Westwood Baptist Church, with a Celebration of Life service to follow the visitation at 3 p.m. with Pastors Paul Davis and Nolan Phillips officiating.

He will be laid to rest following the service at Hilcrest Memorial Gardens with John Owenby, Brad Benton, Steve Markiewicz, Luke Benton, Parker Benton and Jonathan Cain as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Gill Barrett, Drew Markiewicz and Chase Markiewicz.

You are invited to share a personal memory of Wendell or your condolences with his family at his online memorial at

Companion Funeral & Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.



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